08-02-2013, 08:44 AM
#1
  • A28
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Want opinions soaps.or creams.easier to. Lather?
For me creams.takes like 30 seconds to a minute
Soaps.can't.do.it even after.10 minutes!

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 08-02-2013, 09:11 AM
#2
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It all depends on the soap.

You will not have that problem with Martin de Candre, La Toya stick or the line from DR Harris. Those are pretty much dead easy, even in hard water, esp if you are a face latherer.

Some others can be more finicky; Mitchell's Wool Fat (MWF) is notorious for having a learning curve - but is supposed to be fantastic when finally dialed in.

The latherability spectrum is broad and YMMV

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 08-02-2013, 09:15 AM
#3
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I don't believe anybody would deny that creams, in general, are easier to lather and pretty much foolproof.
The main issue that those new to soaps is inadequate loading of the brush. Whereas a relatively small amount of cream will produce ample lather, soaps, with the exception of a few, require much longer loading. I generally load my soaps for around a minute, some slightly longer and others slightly less.
My opinion is that once you have soaps perfected, the lather they create is superior, and their use is most certainly more traditional. I find soap lather gives better protection, especially when using straights.
At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. There are a few creams I do love but I have removed them from use, such is my love of soaps.

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 08-02-2013, 09:33 AM
#4
  • A28
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Very good.info. It's my.first.go. With soaps and.was.using van der Hagen.
I just.love.my.tobs.cream

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 08-02-2013, 09:39 AM
#5
  • Obie
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  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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Gentlemen, I prefer soaps over creams, not because they are better, but because they better represent tradition. Not only that, but the process of loading the brush and then working it to create luxurious lather adds another notch to what already is a pleasureful experience. I rotate some 35 soaps and creams, mostly soaps, including Mitchell's Wool Fat, and all create superb lather with relative ease. For Mitchell's Wool Fat, I go with warm water rather than hot and load it heavily with a mildly shaken brush. This soap needs more water than many others from the start. My brushes are loaded heavily and I spend more time than necessary on my lather, because I love the process and want to prolong it as much as possible. It's the same with stropping a straight razor. I often strop more than necessary, because I enjoy the process. All this is also great therapy, gentlemen. Good stuff.

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 08-02-2013, 10:32 AM
#6
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I find soaps, croaps, and cremes easy to lather... for me it's just a matter of loading the brush for longer the harder the soap is. But then again, I got soft water... that might account for part of it.

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 08-02-2013, 10:36 AM
#7
  • Johnny
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I agree with Obie. The words ritual, zen, spiritual, blissful, and therapeutic come to mind.

There are some things in life where the old way is best.

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 08-02-2013, 11:50 AM
#8
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(08-02-2013, 08:44 AM)A28 Wrote: Want opinions soaps.or creams.easier to. Lather?
For me creams.takes like 30 seconds to a minute
Soaps.can't.do.it even after.10 minutes!

How hard's your water?. I facelather with hard water and I can be lathered up and ready to shave in two minutes. It just takes a little more soap. I alway's load my brush a little bit off the shave soap stick, or puck of soap, after I rub them on my face. MWF work's great using this method.

Clayton

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 08-02-2013, 12:10 PM
#9
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15 sec for MdC
30 sec for PdP
45 sec for MW
60 sec for MWF

those are load times.

the actual lather building time is the same for me with soaps vs creams

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 08-02-2013, 12:47 PM
#10
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(08-02-2013, 08:44 AM)A28 Wrote: Want opinions soaps.or creams.easier to. Lather?
For me creams.takes like 30 seconds to a minute

What creams are you using? The creams I've used, like TOBS, I've been able to load up for only five to ten seconds. If I lathered up 30 seconds, I'd probably use up about 1/3 of the product.

Are you talking about building the lather, or loading up?

(08-02-2013, 08:44 AM)A28 Wrote: Soaps.can't.do.it even after.10 minutes!

Again, what soaps? I've found that soaking the puck (I use a large mug with the puck at the bottom, and I soak the puck and mug while I take a shower) softens up the puck and makes it a lot easier to load.

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 08-02-2013, 01:46 PM
#11
  • Grumpy
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10 Minutes and you still can't do it.

If you do not have Hard Water then,

1) Make sure you are using a Shaving Brush and not a Hair Brush.

2) Make sure you are using water not alcohol.

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 08-02-2013, 05:27 PM
#12
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i much prefer soaps also due to the slow and methodical loading. i really like the slower process and my favourite soap makers don't make creams! Biggrin

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 08-02-2013, 07:27 PM
#13
  • A28
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I have very very hard water out where I live
Using a semogue.
Van der Hagen is the soap I've been trying
Creams I use are arko and tobs
Never heard.of soaking the puck but I have no mug

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 08-02-2013, 07:56 PM
#14
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I use soaps, croaps, creams and they all work great for me, but I have very soft water also. I was going to suggest the water hardness angle, but that was mentioned already. Hard water can definitely make loading a soap much more time consuming because you need far more soap to overcome the limestone in the water.

Even with my soft water I still load some soaps to work up a sort of paste on the brush. You learn what's required by trial and error. Too much soap will work fine, too little won't work. If you can't work up lather with some soaps in 10 minutes you aren't using enough product. If it's a triple milled soap that isn't working, well, don't be afraid to load the heck out of it. Those soaps are hard. They'll still last a long time, even though you load for a long time. No matter what you use, a lot needs to be used for the limestone in the water. Soap, croap, or cream, you need to use enough, so the hard soap will still last long compared to the others.

Croaps are easier to load and get enough soap in the brush because they're so soft, and creams are extremely easy since you just take another dab if you need more; "loading" is done instantly. This could be another factor, you can see how much cream you're using. With soap it's just experience, there is no "seeing" how much is being used.

I feel for you guys with hard water. One possible solution is to buy a gallon of distilled water for lather building only. A gallon will last a very long time used for lather alone.

You mention VDH specifically. Try adding some hot water directly on top of the puck and let it sit there for a time. A teaspoon is all that's required. Then, using a damp brush only begin loading the brush, if using synthetic use a dry brush. DO NOT dump the soaking water, it contains soap that you want. Swirl, swirl, swirl, and swirl some more. Work up a paste, and when that's worked up, dip your brush to pick up more water and go back to load more soap. Continue doing this until the loaded soap on the brush is A LOT of soap and it'll also be "snotty". Then you should have enough. Try lathering with that. VdH is a good soap once you load enough of it. It's capable of making a fantastic lather. I believe it might be on deck for me tomorrow.

The same basic technique can be used with any soap. Water on the top to help liquify some, damp brush, and use the water on the puck, then build up a goodly amount of paste, keep doing that by adding more small amounts of water until you have far more than you think you need. Lather.

Some soaps like MdC don't require huge load times or require much in the way of "paste making" unless you have hard water. That knowledge comes with experience.

Don't use too much water on the puck, and definitely don't have a wet brush. You must be in control of the loading and too much water doesn't lead to you being in control. It would just be guesswork.

As Obie and others mentioned, it's part of the shave experience. Do it on a day when you have time to be one with the soap. BTW, It's worth learning how to use soaps becasue some products don't come in any other form. MWF and Provence Sante both come to mind; there are others. Fantastic soaps and that's the only form they come in.

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 08-02-2013, 08:15 PM
#15
  • A28
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Shaowsdad awesome info sounds like loading the brush is my problem guess tobs cream has spoiled me with how easy it is

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 08-02-2013, 10:34 PM
#16
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I have hard water as well. While I use creams during the week when time is short, as others have stated, I find soaps to be a bit more traditional. For loading soaps I use a damper brush, not dripping wet, but pretty damp and I also load for a good 60+ seconds....make sure to apply a bit of pressure and work the tips into the soap a bit. If you feel that while loading the brush is drying out, add a few drops of water to the puck. If you would like an in between of soaps and creams, you could try some of,the Italian soft soaps like Cella, Proraso, Fitness, etc. Let us know how it works out.

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 08-03-2013, 10:10 AM
#17
  • A28
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Thanks guys Biggrin

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 08-03-2013, 07:52 PM
#18
  • A28
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Hey guys thanks for the loading and soaking the puck tip
I let some warm water soak on top of the puck while I showered got out loaded for a good minute and it lathered up after about 40 second gotta say does feel like soap is a little more slick

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 08-05-2013, 01:39 AM
#19
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(08-02-2013, 08:44 AM)A28 Wrote: Want opinions soaps.or creams.easier to. Lather?
For me creams.takes like 30 seconds to a minute
Soaps.can't.do.it even after.10 minutes!

I prefer creams all the time.

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 08-05-2013, 07:22 AM
#20
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One last thought; you can "test lather" more often than you shave. Give it a couple of tries without the full prep / shower and see how it goes.

Upside is that you zero in on what you need to do to build a good lather and the worst case is you have a really clean scrubbed face that smells nice

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